Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 August 2022   Ephesians 2:8.

Ephesians 2:8.      For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

My fellow believers, let’s come together right now, to praise, worship and give thanks to our great and wonderful God, for that’s the major reason He created us! Consequently, Bruh David could joyfully declare (chuh!!!) in the opening verse of Psalm 122: ‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ That’s where we’re supposed to be sometime this last Sunday in August of 2022. 

And besides being made to praise and worship God, the psalmist also declares: (yesss!!!) ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:8-9) That’s even more reason to praise and worship Him. 

And as always, we have a marvellous song of worship to open the proceedings. Today’s hymn is one of our very ‘favouritest’ (smile) aptly titled ‘Amazing Grace.’ It was supposedly written ‘to illustrate a sermon on New Year’s Day of 1773.’ by the sailor, slave trader, turned Anglican priest and abolitionist John Newton (1725-1807). The story goes that Newton, who was brought up in a Christian home rejected his mother’s teachings and became a real profane and wicked individual. 

However, during one of his voyages, a wicked storm (smile) enveloped his ship and threatened to drown them, but during the storm, his mind turned to Christ, and later, finding a New Testament he began reading it. And apparently Luke 11:13 changed his mind about being too wicked to be saved. ‘If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?’ 

Now that’s a terribly important question. And the answer is the Lord will give us ever so much more than we can give our children! Obviously, Newton must have asked for the power of the Holy Spirit and the Lord granted it to him. And isn’t that just the way our Lord LOVES to work; take us up, rescue us when we are at our lowest point. It’s a perfect example that we can never fall too low for the Lord’s grace and mercy to reach us and pull us out of the evil mire in which we’re ensconced. 

Anyway, enough talk for now. If you didn’t know the general background of the hymn, now you know it, so let’s sing it in a soulful, harmonious, mid-tempo version. I hate hearing people sing it like a dirge, for it’s not a sad song but a happy one. A song of salvation should never be sad. So, with voices raised to the max, let’s offer up sacrificial praise, singing like we truly feeling the overpowering sentiments of the song. 

‘Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, As long as life endures. 

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.’ 

Ah mih people, that was marvellous! Heaven couldn’t doubt that we were sincere! And I particularly like this comment in an article on the song from the website Godtube. It says: ‘This song isn’t a song of theology – it’s John Newton’s own heartfelt expression of gratitude to God, who helped him turn from his profane and wicked life and eventually fight against the ills he practiced.’ 

Yes friends, it must be amazing when we can go from one end of the spectrum right to the opposite end! And although the song might not be a theological text (smile) it’s only God’s grace can cause that to happen. For as Bruh Paul wrote to the Ephesians: ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9) 

And I guess Newton full well recognized that fact, having later become and Anglican priest, for in the song, he acknowledged this most important fact: ‘’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far. And grace will lead me home.’ And that’s for certain sure my fellow believers, for as James, Jesus’ brother tells us: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning. Of his own will he begat us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:17-18) 

Yes precious saints of Christ, everything good comes from our heavenly Father, who is immutable, doesn’t change. And as we said at the beginning, He made us, His most important creation to have fellowship with Him, to be the first step in His redemption plan for all creation. And as the song concludes: ‘When we’ve been here ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we first begun.’ 

Now isn’t that the glorious truth? It surely is! As long as there’s’ life in our bodies, physical or spiritual, we’ll always have occasion to sing the Lord’s praises, for that’s why we were made!  So, let’s remember that nuh and keep singing God’s most deserved praises each and every day of our lives as the Good Book instructs us to do. ‘O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise (glorify) him, all ye people. For his merciful (LOVING) kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah!)’ (Ps. 117:1-2) 

And that only comes when we truly believe, and thus have the joy, the truth, and the grace of God moving majestically within us! Much LOVE!

…it’s never too late…or one’s never too far gone…to receive God’s grace…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​           

Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 April 2022 Psalm 107:15.

Psalm 107:15.      Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 

And then it was Monday…Easter Monday! Jesus Christ has risen, He’s taken over the reins of our lives, the reins that Satan used to guide us in the sinful activities of our earlier life! But now, through His awesome resurrection, Jesus has broken the chains of sin that held us captive. Like He read on that fateful Sabbath day from the word of Isaiah (61:1), in the synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth: 

‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captive, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (oppressed.) To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’ (Luke 4:18-19) Yes friends, Christ was that bearer of Isaiah’s prophecy of Good Tidings of salvation for the people of Zion! As He said to them after reading the Word: ‘This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (hearing).’ (Luke 4:21) 

Oh my people, in this Easter Season when Christ rose triumphant from the grave, the fulfillment of so many scriptures took place. As the psalmist so readily and truthfully declares (chuh!!!) in Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. ‘Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness, and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder (broke their chains in pieces).’ (Ps. 107:13-14) 

And that’s exactly what Jesus accomplished through His magnificent resurrection! Breaking chains; setting captives free, healing the blind and broken-hearted, bringing sinners out of darkness into the marvellous light of his wonderful gospel of peace, LOVE, grace, mercy, salvation, reconciliation to the Father and the ever-faithful promise of eternal life! 

Remember how Jesus said it to Nicodemus when he came to Jesus looking for answers. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

Yes my fellow believers, in all the hurrah and whatever, we’ve forgotten God’s purpose for sending His only Son to earth in human form…to save us! And all we need to do is simply believe – believe in Him…that He is indeed the Son of God, and thus has the power to save us, to set us free from the darkness of this evil world. Everything else is simply topping on the cone! (smile) 

And that’s why we sinners, set free by the LOVE, grace and mercy of God ought to do like the psalmist continues in Psalm 107: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he hath broken the gates of brass (bronze), and cut the bars of iron in sunder (broken them in pieces).’ (Ps. 107:15-16) 

Ah my brethren, how much more shall Jesus do before we truly LOVE and sincerely accept Him as our Lord and Saviour? He came to earth as a man, died on the cross to pay for our abominable sins, triumphantly rose from the dead, setting us free from the deadly and murderous grip of Satan, thus giving us a chance, an option to get away from the overwhelming and stifling darkness and gloom of this topsy-turvy world and be successfully reunited with our Creator! What more can He do eh? I really don’t know nuh. 

But there just seems to be something about sin, it’s short lived and consequential pleasures, that keep calling, keep driving us back to the gloom and darkness of Satan’s evil empire. However, for all our sakes, please, please, let’s remember that  ‘the wages of sin is death – eternal separation from Almighty God; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23) So, without Jesus living in our hearts, souls and lives, through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, we don’t have a chance of escaping hellfire and damnation! 

It’s as simple as that my people! Believe and survive…or don’t believe and die! That’s it in a nutshell. Jesus can’t do any more than He’s already done. It’s all up to us now, and believe me, that decision to follow Jesus or not, is the most important one we’ll ever make. So please carefully consider all that’s been said and done before you decide, because once it’s all over there’s no changing of minds, no going back. 

And maybe this favourite saying of Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) re the principle of seed time and harvest, might help us to make the right decision. He wisely says: ‘We reap what we sow…more than we sow and later than we sow.’ Simply meaning that ‘future consequences are inevitably shaped by present actions.’ So, whatever we hope to achieve in the future, we must set those wheels in motion right now. In other words, we can’t hope to plant peas and reap corn or something different than peas. Likewise, we can’t hope to dwell in conspicuous sin in this earthly life and then reap eternal life in heaven with Jesus. It just won’t happen. 

In wisdom then, let’s see about our eternal destiny right now nuh, by going to God in prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and asking for His divine help to solve our many difficult problems. Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Easter Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now let’s go and do what we’ve promised. It’s the only way friends; the only way to Jesus’ heart! Much LOVE!

…to know what to do…and not do it…is sin…and sin brings death… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8    

Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 January 2022 Psalm 107:6.

Psalm 107:6.    Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. 

Well, it’s another cold and snowy Tuesday morning…but thankfully nothing like it was last Tuesday! Hn! Some snow did fall yesterday, but a minuscule amount in comparison to last week’s debacle. And again, much thanks should be given, because in some places they are still digging out and cleaning up from that amazing and awesome, but oh so dangerous and deadly amount of heavenly precipitation! (smile) 

And since we are in thanksgiving mode, I believe that one of my favourite prayers is most appropriate for today’s situation. It’s something I’ve shared before, but please remember that prayer is made to share over and over again. (smile) This awesome prayer was prepared by the Life-Study Fellowship, Noroton, Connecticut. I’m not sure exactly when, but it’s before 2014, which is on the copy I have, that tells you how much I like it, and how long I’ve had it, but I can see that I’ve also changed the date, and still do every year. (smile) 

So please pray with me: It’s titled: Lord, Please Accept My Heartfelt Thanks!  And opens thus: ‘Praise the Lord for His Goodness.’ (Psalm 107:8). Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And I thank You sincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! 

How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of Your LOVE for me, somehow, I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult of times! I’m grateful, too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! 

Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! As I look to 2022, I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour I pray! Amen.’ 

Oh my people, that prayer just resonates through every fibre of my being because it seems to cover all the bases! And praying it ‘never fails to reassure and uplift me,’ which is one of the major purposes of prayer! I surely hope that it touches your hearts and souls too, reassuring and uplifting you. And having said all of that, I guess the most logical thing to follow it up with is some of Psalm 107, which is titled ‘God’s wonderful works to the children of men.’ 

So let’s read together: ‘O Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary (desolate) way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. 

Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men. For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:1-9) 

Ah friends, there is so much in those first few verses of the psalm, that I don’t know what to talk about. (smile) We can talk about the Lord’s goodness and mercy which endure forever…Or about crying out to Him when in distress and Him delivering us out of our troubles…Or talk about praising the Lord for His goodness to us undeserving children of men…Or how He satisfies the longing soul and fills the empty soul with goodness. Take your pick! And that’s only from the first nine verses, and the psalm has 43 verses all told. 

Anyhow, in our sad and sorry current situation, I believe the verse about crying out to God in our time of trouble is what we should talk about; check out a couple scriptures on it, and see how our forefathers did it. So let’s turn to Psalm 50, God is the judge, where the psalmist Asaph wisely, provocatively and admonishingly writes on the Lord’s behalf: ‘If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: and call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’ (Ps. 50:12-15) 

Yes my fellow believers, it’s obvious that we need to call upon our great God in these evil and sorrowful times, because He is the ONLY real source of help! It says so all throughout the scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation! So why are we so loathe to call upon the Creator of the universe for help eh, especially when nothing else, no man-made solution is working? Are we afraid, because deep down our souls hide in darkness and evil and we don’t truly honour God like we preach? And we fall into the wicked and ungodly category that verses 16-21 of Psalm 50 talk about. 

Under those circumstances, then these last two verses of Psalm 50, seem appropriate. ‘Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation (conduct) aright will I show the salvation of God.’ (Ps. 50:22-23) It’s so simple friends, we only have two options, be against God, live wickedly and suffer eternal death and damnation, or be for Him, live right and see His wonderful salvation! 

But that most important decision has to be made on an individual basis, everyone deciding for themselves. And yes, others will try to persuade us to fall into one category or the other, but please, please, first check out all the facts for yourself, then make a wise and informed decision. Just in case it helps, I made mine to follow Christ, because, in my opinion, that seems to be the best option. And for all those of us who believe likewise, let’s go home declaring (chuh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong, sincere and confident voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and action those words, sharing the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…when the righteous cry…the Lord hears…and answers…  

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                   

Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 January 2022 Ephesians 5:14.

Ephesians 5:14.     Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 

It’s Monday morning my people! The celebrations finish now until Valentine’s Day in February. (smile) Time to get back to the daily grind and common task we call everyday life. That’s the drama, the ups and downs of work, school, friends and family… and Covid problems, all while living for Jesus! And there was a great big sigh at the realization that the Christmas season is winding down to its inevitable end. But so it must my brethren, because we can’t always live on such a continual high. 

It’s not we’ve forgotten Jesus, but we’re just normalizing life, getting back down to brass tacks, with the more serious task of spreading the good news of His coming kingdom and the amazing benefits it holds for all those who choose to follow Him. And today, in these dark and troubled times, I just want to share a few wise and uplifting scriptures that we need to get a hold of right at the beginning of this new year, hold on to the tightly, bury them deep in our hearts, and then put them into useful action. 

Now let’s begin with some wise advice from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians, where he tells them: ‘Let no man deceive you with vain (empty) words: for because of these things (that’s immoral living – 5:3-5) cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light. (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable to the Lord.’ (Eph. 5:6-10) 

Yes friends, since we are now children of light, we ought not to get involved in the behaviour associated with darkness, except to expose it, to the light of Christ. And time is of the utmost importance, that’s why Bruh Paul later advises: ‘Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.’ (Eph. 5:14-16) 

Ah my people, there’s absolutely no doubt that we are living in very evil times, and thus need to walk carefully, watch how we live, but at the same time take every opportunity granted to us to witness to the lost, to those who still walk in darkness. But to do that we also have to be wise, to acquire that wonderful attribute of wisdom. And how do we do that eh? Cousin Sol tells us right up front that wisdom begins with the fear and reverence of the Lord. ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ (Prov. 1:7) Oh, how true that all is! 

And why does wisdom begin with submission to God’s will and revelation? Because as Cousin Sol informs us later on: ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew.’ (Prov.3:19-20) Yes my fellow believers, it’s wisdom and understanding the Lord used to create our universe and all therein! That’s how important it is! So if we want to do good and God-like things, then it’s necessary for us to obtain the wisdom and understanding that comes from God. 

Then Cousin Sol warns his son about the beneficial effects of wisdom and understanding. ‘My son let them not depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace (favour) to your neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.’ (Prov. 3:21-24) Isn’t that wonderful my brethren? When we have the wisdom and understanding that comes from Almighty God, we will make good decisions and not have to fear about whatever comes against, so we can sleep like a baby. (smile) 

But then the problem crops of how to go about getting that godly wisdom and understanding, when we are in a turbulent and unsatisfactory situation like our world is currently undergoing. The psalmist tells us straight and plain: ‘Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.’ (Ps. 107:6-8) 

Now that again is wisdom; asking the wise Creator for help, and then praising Him after He’s provided the help. But we seem to do neither ask nor praise, so we get nothing. So today, let’s put the first action of achieving wisdom into motion nuh, by crying out unto our God for His awesome help through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

But let’s remember that we first have to keep our promises before the Lord keeps His! Much LOVE!

…O give thanks unto the Lord…for he is good…for his mercy endureth for ever… (Ps. 107:1)                                                                                                                                                                         Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8           

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2021 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.    ​Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men.

Please note friends, that this is simply an aberration, not a regular occurrence. (smile) I’m talking about receiving the Bit so early on a Tuesday morning. But it has been forced upon me by an early morning appointment for some tests in the hospital, and with the bad weather out there and the confusion in the hospitals, I’m not sure when I’ll be back. 

And believe me, if it was in normal times when tests were fairly easy to come by, I would certainly have cancelled this one after the snowstorm passed by last night and dropped a few inches on us. But things have changed so much during these pandemic times that I am forced to brave the beautiful white, but oh so dangerous stuff this early morning. (smile) And since this Bit will be short and sweet, let’s get going with something Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) called ‘The Possibility Thinker’s Creed,’ a li’l encouragement for a cold and snowy Tuesday Morning. 

Please read with me. ‘When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine – with God’s help.’ Now that should liven us up this morning, and give us some strength and strong desire to keep keeping on and NEVER to give up, because Christians don’t do that sort of thing. Hn! And I do hope that I find a pass through the mountain of snow when I get out there, because I really don’t feel like climbing over it, tunnelling underneath or staying and turning it into a gold mine. (smile) 

Now here is something else I’d like to share, one of my favourite prayers. It’s titled ‘Lord, Please Accept My HeartfeltThanks!’ It was prepared by the Life -Study Fellowship, Noroton, Connecticut some years ago, and I’ve shared it already, but I think the time’s come to share it again. (smile) So please pray with me. ‘Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And Ithank Yousincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! 

You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of YourLOVEfor me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult of times! I’m grateful, too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! 

Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! As I look to 2021, I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour, I pray! Amen.’ 

Oh friends, as far as I am concerned you could not get a much better overall prayer than that! It certainly covers all bases. And it’s based on this wonderful scripture from Psalm 107.‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men.For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:8-9) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! If mankind was a li’l more thankful and praiseful and grateful to the Lord God Almighty, I’m sure we would not be in the terrible mess in which we’re now in! But we like to use our free will, be proud of our independence and do our own thing. Hn! Therefore, when we make the wrong decisions, we have to pay the price, But unfortunately, though we doLOVEto be proud and arrogant, we don’t have the concomitant parts to stand our bounce when we do wrong and the tough consequences come a calling. Only then do we know God and cry out to Him for help! 

And the psalmist thought that our Bit was so important that he included it three more times in the one psalm; verses 15, 21 and 31. Now here’s what he says after verse 15; ‘For he hath broken the gates of brass (bronze) and cut the bars of iron in sunder (asunder). Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.’ (Ps. 107:16-17) And that’s no lie friends, as we and all our foolish and evil doings, can all attest to. 

And after verse 21, the psalmist declares (yes!) ‘And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing (joyful singing).’ (Ps. 107. 22) Oh how much better off we’d be my people, if we did more joyful singing and thanksgiving than the inordinate amount of complaining we do. And after verse 31, the psalmist makes another profound statement. ‘Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.’ (Ps. 107:32) 

More sound and wise advice my brethren. Let’s try and take some it this Tuesday morning nuh. It would be oh such sweet balm to our tired and wounded souls. And now it’s time to go home declaring (awright!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the whole world who and whose we are. 

Altogether in strong, sincere voice now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’  

So let’s mosey on and do just that nuh.Much LOVE!

…the Lord gave us free will…so that we would use it wisely…not foolishly… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2021 Psalm 107:15.

Psalm 107:15.     Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Well it’s Friday, and life goes on in a somewhat bleak and challenging way. Nonetheless, there is the joy of the Lord in our souls and thanks and praise issuing from our hearts and mouths for God’s wonderful goodness to the children of men. 

Psalm 107 says it. ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men. For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:8-9) And there can be no denying of God’s Word. 

I also like how the psalmist describes the situation. ‘Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron (prisoners);’ (Ps. 107:10) And it is fair to say that many of us today are sitting in darkness, prisoners of the world and all its evil spells; afraid of the corona virus and all that it’s doing to our godless society. 

But why is that eh? Hear the words of the psalmist. ‘Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned (despised) the counsel of the Most High:’ (Ps. 107: 11) 

Oh my people, we cannot deny that charge of rebellion, since we have indeed despised God’s word, even to the point of desperately trying to kick Him out of our modern, technological society, because we think He’s old fashioned and obsolete! 

But we obviously have not learned from the history of mankind, where many other nations rebelled and tried to get rid of Jehovah God, with no success whatsoever, because the universe is His; He created it and still controls it, and will not let mere mortals, His creation, push Him around. 

Remember how Lucifer, the then archangel rebelled in heaven? And where is he now eh? Walking around the earth as the evil Satan. Kicked out unsolicitously from heaven for his foolish pride and insolence, wanting to overthrow his Maker. Israel is also a very good example of that rebellion. 

Remember, we’re supposed to learn from History. But we obviously are not, for there are inevitable negative consequences when you despise God’s word and try to run Him out of town. The psalmist puts it thus: ‘Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.’ (Ps. 107:12) 

Yuh notice how we falling like flies these days, and we don’t seem to have any help? But that’s not quite true; there’s always help available, if we look in the right places. And the Israelites were famous for finding help when the consequences of their rebellion stung them to the core. 

Hear the psalmist again nuh. ‘Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of the darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder (broke their chains in pieces.’ (Ps. 107:13-14) 

Oh my people, my people, the Lord God Jehovah is our obvious place of refuge, our sure solution in these times of abject darkness and sorrow and despair! It’s the only place where we can find succour and true refuge from all that afflicts our society. It doesn’t even require much wisdom, but mere common sense, since nothing else we’re trying is working. 

Just the process of elimination alone, should bring us back solemnly, respectfully and repentantly to Almighty God! No wonder the psalmist thought that this verse was so nice he had to include it twice: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’ (Ps. 107:15) 

I don’t know why we’re not doing that on a much larger scale nuh friends, ‘For he (God) hath broken the gates of brass (bronze) and cut the bars of iron in sunder (asunder). (However) Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.’ (Ps. 107:17-18) 

That’s us, our current society the psalmist is talking about friends. When are we going to wake up and realize that Almighty God is our ONLY solution to EVERY problem we face eh? That’s why I admire the Israelites to a certain extent. Although they were foolish to turn away from God in prosperous moments, in the consequential tough times, they always remembered that it was with Him that their bread was truly buttered and turned back to Him. 

As the psalmist records: ‘Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.’ (Ps. 107: 19-20) 

Oh my brethren, the Lord did send His Word, Jesus Christ to heal us and save us from our self-destruction, but we’re not paying sufficient attention to Him, and that’s the major reason why we’re currently suffering our current ‘sufferation.’ 

Disobedience to God WILL ALWAYS bring negative consequences! That’s a given! But repentance and subsequent obedience is rewarded with God’s goodness to the children of men. So let’s be wise and turn to God for help nuh, through our Friday Chant. We have absolutely nothing to lose, and so very much to gain. 

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’  

Now friends, if we’re truly sincere in that prayer, then we need to do as the psalmist advises: ‘And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing (joyful singing).’ (Ps. 107:22) Much LOVE!

…the smart money…in whatever situation…is ALWAYS on God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 November 2020 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.     ​Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

One more time, one more time, let’s do it one more time fellow saints of Christ! I mean, let’s get together on the Lord’s Day, by whatever means possible, and worship and praise His Holy Name as He desires of us on at least one day of every week! Yes my people, that is one of the duties for which we were created, along with the awesome blessing of having a close and personal relationship with the wise and wonderful Deity who created us. Glory to His blessed name, for there is no other supposed god who desires such a relationship with their followers as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob desires with His. 

So let’s cut out the talk and get down to some serious worship nuh. (smile) And today’s song is one I sent to some of you by WhatsApp this week, titled ‘The Goodness of God’ sung by Jenn Johnson with the Bethel church. So some of you know it. (smile) And after listening to several versions of the song, all of them decent enough in their own right, I still had to come back to the Jenn Johnson version because it had a particular soulful and yet rocking sound that seemed rather appropriate for the song. 

So without further ado, let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise, offering up heartfelt and true emotion and sentiments to our majestic, magnanimous and magnificent God, Jehovah. In slow, soulful harmony to start, then breaking into a rocking, raunchy riddim at the chorus. ‘I love You Lord Oh Your mercy never fails me And all my days I’ve been held in Your hands From the moment that I wake up Until I lay my head down, Oh I will sing of the goodness of God (Chorus: All my life You have been faithful And All my life You have been so, so good. With every breath that I am able, Oh I will sing of the goodness of God.) 

I LOVE Your voice. You have led me through the fire. In my darkest night, You were close like no other. I’ve known You as a Father, I’ve known You as a friend, Oh I have lived, in the goodness of God. (Chorus: Yeahhh! And all my life You have been faithful…I will sing of the goodness of God) Yeah, yeah, it’s so good! Your goodness is running after, It’s running after me. Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me. With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now, I give You everything, cause Your goodness is running after, It’s running after me. Ohhh, cause Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me. 

With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now, I give You everything, cause Your goodness is running after, It’s running after me. Your goodness is running after, it keeps running after me. And All my life You have been faithful And All my life You have been so, so good With every breath that I am able, Oh I’m going to sing, Oh I’m going to sing of the goodness of God. For all my life You have been faithful, all my life You have been so good. 

Oh You lead me in glory…ever-faithful, You are my anchor in the wind and the waves… You are my provider…Oh yeah…and You lead me in glory by your spirit…You are my joy…my joy…every day…Oh shepherd of my soul…what a joy to know You…Oh, the joy of knowing You God…You’re everything to me…so wonderful…so wonderful in all your ways…in all your ways. That’s why I will always sing of Your goodness Lord…I will always sing of Your goodness Lord.’ 

Mama Mia! What a great paean (song of praise, worship, triumph, thanksgiving) to Almighty God, in which our voices were gloriously united! It couldn’t get any better than that my brethren, because the sentiments were all true! And today all we’re going to do is look at some scripture that gloriously display God’s wonderful works to the children of men! And that’s the superscript of Psalm 107, from which most, if not all of our scripture will come. Hear how the psalmist begins nuh: ‘O Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.’ (Ps. 107:1-2) 

The psalmist there was talking about the nation of Israel whom the Lord took out of bondage from Egypt, and because of their disobedience, they wandered in the wilderness, lost and without a shepherd, hungry and thirsty and faint. (Ps. 107:3-4) But eventually they smartened up, and ‘Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.’ (Ps. 107:6-7) 

Yeh friends, that’s the difference between obedience to God and disobedience. If we want to be left alone, He will leave us alone to do our own thing, but when we decide to call on Him in true and sincere repentance, He comes running to our aid. As the psalmist further states: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’ (Ps. 107:8) What a glorious observation! Why, you ask? Hear the psalmist’s answer. ‘For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:9) 

Ah mih bredrin, when we come to God in repentance and submission, He looks after us. But when we turn away from Him, rebel against Him, He allows the evil one to cause us to ‘sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron (being prisoners);’ (Ps. 107:10) And when we wake up and cry out to Him again in times of trouble, He comes running and saves us out of our distresses. He brings us out of the darkness and the shadow of death, and breaks our bands in sunder (breaks our chains in pieces). And for that we should again praise Him for His goodness as our Bit says. (Ps. 107:11-16) 

Oh my people, we are so near and dear to the God of our forefathers that He can’t deny us when we turn to Him in true surrender. Look at what He did for the Israelites…and look at what He did for us by sending His Only Son Jesus to be sacrificed for our sins. That speaks of a golden heart of LOVE in the Being we call our God. And that’s why the psalmist’s cry makes undeniable sense: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing (joyful singing).’ (Ps. 107:21-22) 

And that’s what we’ve just done: declared His works with joyful singing! Glory be precious people! And we can go on through Psalm 107 and the rest of the Good Book and find innumerable reasons for praising God for His goodness. But time and space are against us. So let’s remember all those times that He’s bailed us out nuh, both individually and collectively, and stay under His protective umbrella, because that’s the ONLY safe place in this evil world! Much LOVE!

…the Lord is good…ALL THE TIME… because that’s His nature… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2019 Isaiah 55:1.

Isaiah 55:1.    ​Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
 

Ah friends, it looks like it’s going to be one of those days; all the joints are aching and the ole fella’s dragging like an old man! Chuh! I hate when that happens, especially when I’m on a nice, fairly long, pain free run…well not completely pain free, because it’s never that nowadays. (smile) 

Yuh know what I mean though; not having to take no setta pain pills and moving along smooth and easy, the way the duchess likes to see her husband move. (smile) But as you also know, prayer is the panacea, the cure-all for ALL the ills of the soul, so let’s get into a nice li’l uplifting prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional nuh. It’s simply titled: ‘Fill Me!’ 

Please pray with me: ‘O Lord, like the thirsty deer which goes to drink from the mountain springs; like the growing flower which turns hungrily to the satisfying sun; like the empty pitcher which is carried to the fountain to be filled; so I come, O God, knowing that in this time of prayer my soul will be filled with your LOVE and your truth. Thank you Lord! Amen.’  

Yes my people, if we were sincere and humble in that prayer, but also confident that God would grant our desire, then right now we’re being filled with the LOVE and truth of our heavenly father by the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. Glory be, precious saints of Christ! What a great and wonderful God we serve my faithful brethren! 

A God who desires us to come to Him whenever we’re tired and thirsty, famished and broken down for rest, comfort and succour. That’s why the prophet Isaiah wisely advised his people, the Israelites, to ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found. Call ye upon him while he is near.’ (Is.55:6) 

Yes friends, that’s simply common sense imbued with heavenly wisdom! (smile) He’s our Creator and Provider, so who else we going to call on eh? Surely not Ghostbusters, nor the evil one! And in keeping with the thirsty theme, I just want to look at some of the scriptures that powerfully illustrate our message, beginning with this wonderful, unimaginable invitation from God Himself, through Isaiah, to His people Israel, and consequently to us. 

‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.’ Wow! What an invitation mih breddren! Nobody else can ever match that! Buying spiritual milk and water and food for free! Only in the realm of our magnificent and magnanimous God is that possible! 

Hear what the scholars say about that nuh. ’55:1-7. God’s free gift of salvation is offered to ALL who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come to eat and drink without money (or freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to ALL men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 

And here now are a few scriptures where men hungry and thirsty for God did just that, beginning with this favourite from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. ‘As the hart (deer) panteth after (longs for) the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ (Ps.42:1-2) 

Oh my people, are we that hungry and thirsty for our great God? I would certainly like to think so, but unfortunately the reality of our actions in these evil times doesn’t show it. It’s more like we’ve forgotten that God exists, and more like we’re trying to get rid of Him from our broken down and evil society. 

But just a word of caution; that’s impossible to do. He might allow us to carry on with our nonsense for a time, but in the end, He will have the last word and the last laugh. So please let’s wake up and realize that our world is on the brink of destruction and only real and strong faith in Christ Jesus can ever help us to fix it. Enough preaching though. (smile) 

Hear Bruh David now from Psalm 63 – God satisfies the thirsting soul. ‘O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.’ (Ps.63:1) 

And in Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men, the psalmist declares thus: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness (LOVING-kindness).’ (Ps.107:8-9) Oh that men nowadays would really take those words of wisdom to heart and action them! Our world would be a much better place! 

And one more time from Bruh David from Psalm 143 – Teach me to do thy will. ‘ I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse (ponder) on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land.   Selah.’ (Ps.143:5-6) Ah mih people, again we see Bruh David in anguish of spirit and soul, possibly beset by enemies thirstily crying out for God to fill him with grace and mercy and LOVING-kindness! So who are we not to do the same eh? 

Anyway, here is the definitive word on a spiritually hungry and thirsty soul…from none other than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ (Matt.5:6) And isn’t that the gospel truth! Those of us who are poor and hungry in spirit and realize the depth of our need and faithfully seek God, will indeed be filled with the Lord’s grace, mercy and LOVING-kindness! 

And having imbued our soul and spirit with those uplifting, assuring and comforting words, let’s go home now declaring (yes!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the world who and whose we are! In strong voice, as one: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Oh glory be mih people! What joy it brings to the soul when we are beloved of Jesus and can sincerely count Him as our friend! So please let’s go out and share that good news now nuh! It’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…oh, words cannot describe…how wonderful it feels…to have Jesus…living right here within me…